On an NBC News “Special Report” that was covering President Biden’s news conference on Sunday, NBC News abruptly cut away from the news conference as soon as Biden started to take questions from the press.
Biden concluded his prepared statement by saying, “And I’ll keep you informed every day as we move forward. May God protect our troops and our diplomats who are serving in harm’s way. I’ll take a few questions. Darlene, from the Associated Press.”
Darlene Superville, White House reporter for The Associated Press, asked, “Mr. President: we’re nine days away from the August 31 deadline. Will you extend that deadline, or what is your thought process on extending the evacuation operation?”
NBC News’ Kate Snow nodded, possibly obeying an instruction given in her earphone, then cut in, “All right. We’ve been listening to President Biden with dual challenges on a Sunday talking about Tropical Storm Henri, all the preparations being made, also talking about Afghanistan. Let’s get right to Monica Alba, who’s at the White House.”
Tim Graham, director of media analysis at the Media Research Center and executive editor of the blog NewsBusters, has pointed out that Biden’s staff reportedly hasn’t wanted him to take questions:
Back in May, press secretary Jen Psaki admitted to her pal David Axelrod that Biden “takes questions nearly every day he’s out from the press. That is not something we recommend. In fact, a lot of times we say, ‘Don’t take questions.’”
Last Thursday, award-winning investigative journalist Lara Logan fired off a challenge to the mainstream media to ask Biden questions that they had been reluctant to ask. She stated, “U.S. media needs to ask why U.S./Intel/NSA allowed sensitive mil equipment to be transported to Pakistan w/o doing anything? Why is the Biden admin not acknowledging the Afghan govt – VP Amrullah Saleh hasn’t surrendered, announced he’s acting Pres under constitution U.S. helped draft.”
Last Wednesday, Biden quickly exited a press conference without taking a single question from reporters.